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Enterprises in the European Union know how to protect themselves against ICT security incidents due to hardware or software failure: only 12% fell victim to this in 2009, according to a survey by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union. Some 5% of enterprises reported serious incidents, involving the destruction or corruption of data due to malicious software infection or unauthorised access. This high resistance can be attributed to the password security and software used: in January 2010, half of the enterprises in the EU used a 'strong password' or 'hardware token' for authentication and user identification. a(1)

The highest shares of incidents were registered in Cyprus, Portugal and Finland (all 26% of enterprises), Denmark (24%), Greece (23%), the Czech Republic (22%) and Slovakia (20%). The shares of enterprises reporting unavailability of ICT services due to an attack from outside were highest in Slovakia (11%) and the Netherlands (7%). In the majority of EU member states, the disclosure of confidential data due to intrusion, 'pharming' or 'phishing' attacks was reported by 1% or less of enterprises in 2009.

While more than 60% of enterprises in Italy (66%), Ireland and Slovenia (both 64%), Spain (63%) and Luxembourg (62%) used a strong password authentication and/or a hardware token, these procedures were utilised by less than 30% of enterprises in Slovakia (20%), Hungary (24%) and Romania (29%).

Mobile internet access

The Eurostat data also reveal that two-thirds (67%) of large enterprises used mobile broadband connections, compared with 43% for medium-sized enterprises and 22% for small enterprises. In the EU27, 94% of enterprises had access to the internet in January 2010. While 85% of enterprises had a fixed broadband connection, 27% used mobile broadband connections. However, the share of enterprises using mobile broadband connections ranged more widely, from 6% in Greece, 8% in Romania and 9% in Bulgaria and Estonia to 68% in Finland, 55% in Sweden, 46% in Austria and 43% in Denmark.

Some countries displayed record results: more than 90% of large enterprises used mobile broadband connections in Finland (95%), Austria and Sweden (both 91%).

The survey covered EU enterprises with at least ten persons employed in various sectors (industry, electricity, gas, water supply, construction, trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, transportation and storage, real estate, information and communication, etc).

(1) A strong password must have a minimum length of eight characters. The characters have to be a mix of uppercase, lowercase, alphanumeric and special characters. A hardware token is a physical device that authorises the access of the owner of the token to a computer or a network.a

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Publication:European Report
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Dec 13, 2010

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